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1. Theories of attachment Evolutionary theory Learning theories <ul><li>The tendency to form attachments is INNATE…
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  • 1. Theories of attachment Evolutionary theory Learning theories <ul><li>The tendency to form attachments is INNATE </li></ul><ul><li>This tendency is present in both infants and mothers </li></ul><ul><li>Infants have no innate tendency to form attachments </li></ul><ul><li>They LEARN attachments because of FOOD </li></ul>
  • 2. Evolutionary Theory <ul><li>Evolution is the process whereby USEFUL FEATURES are introduced into a species. </li></ul><ul><li>Features are useful if they help the animal SURVIVE long enough to successfully REPRODUCE. </li></ul><ul><li>To survive and reproduce, animals need to be WELL ADAPTED to their environment. </li></ul><ul><li>For this reason, useful features are said to be ADAPTIVE. </li></ul>Evolution of attachments
  • 3. Evolutionary Theory Discuss!! Thinking of what you know about human attachment, how might attachment behaviour have given our species an increased chance of survival? Evolution of attachments
  • 4. Evolutionary Theory The Ethologists <ul><li>Ethologists are BIOLOGISTS who study animal behaviour in the natural environment. </li></ul><ul><li>One important ethologist is Konrad Lorenz. </li></ul><ul><li>He was interested in how young animals attach to their mothers, and how this gave them an increased chance of survival. </li></ul>
  • 5. Evolutionary Theory Konrad Lorenz: Imprinting <ul><li>Lorenz carried out an experiment with grey lag geese. </li></ul><ul><li>He set TWO experimental conditions. </li></ul><ul><li>CONDITION 1: He was the first moving object seen by the goose chicks after they hatched </li></ul><ul><li>CONDITION 2: The mother goose was the first moving object seen by the chicks after they hatched </li></ul>
  • 6. Evolutionary Theory Konrad Lorenz: Imprinting <ul><li>Lorenz found that: </li></ul><ul><li>The chicks who saw him before anything else, followed him as if he was their mother. When they were adult, they performed mating displays to him, and ignored other geese. </li></ul><ul><li>The chicks who saw their mother first, followed her when young, and performed mating rituals to other geese in adult life. </li></ul>Lorenz also found that goose chicks seemed to have a ‘CRITICAL PERIOD’ of just a few hours in which to imprint (form an attachment). If they didn’t imprint within this time, they never would.
  • 7. Evolutionary Theory John Bowlby Bowlby put forward an important theory of attachment, based on the work of the ethologists. He saw humans as being just like other animals – we need an INNATE tendency to form attachments with a caregiver. This tendency gives us an ADAPTIVE ADVANTAGE, i.e., makes it more likely that we will survive. He adopted the idea of a CRITICAL PERIOD from ethologists like Lorenz, and applied this to his explanation of how human infants form their attachments.
  • 8. Evolutionary Theory Bowlby’s theory Attachments are A daptive. This means they give our species an ‘adaptive advantage’, making us more likely to survive. This is because if an infant has an attachment to a caregiver, they are kept safe, given food, and kept warm. A = Adaptive A S C M I
  • 9. Evolutionary Theory Bowlby’s theory <ul><li>Babies have S ocial </li></ul><ul><li>releasers, which </li></ul><ul><li>‘ unlock’ the innate </li></ul><ul><li>tendency of adults to </li></ul><ul><li>care for them. </li></ul><ul><li>These Social releasers </li></ul><ul><li>are both: </li></ul><ul><li>Physical – the typical ‘baby face’ features and body proportions </li></ul><ul><li>Behavioural – e.g. crying, cooing </li></ul>s = Social releasers A S C M I
  • 10. Evolutionary Theory Bowlby’s theory Babies have to form the attachment with their caregiver during a C ritical period. This is between birth and 2 ½ years old. Bowlby said that if this didn’t happen, the child would be damaged for life – socially, emotionally, intellectually, and physically C = Critical period A S C M I
  • 11. Evolutionary Theory Bowlby’s theory Bowlby believed that infants form one very special attachment with their mother. This special, intense attachment is called M onotropy. If the mother isn’t available, the infant could bond with another ever-present, adult, mother-substitute. M = Monotropy A S C M I
  • 12. Evolutionary Theory Bowlby’s theory Through the monotropic attachment, the infant would form an I nternal working model. This is a special mental schema for relationships. All the child’s future adult relationships will be based on this. I = Internal working model A S C M I
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